In the face of documentary evidence that the head of the SIS briefed the Prime Minister on the OIA release of the Goff document, Key (and others) are now claiming that “the Prime Minister” really means “the Prime Minister’s Office” and that Key himself was not informed. [Update:] We are required to believe that a “discussion with the Prime Minister” doesn’t mean what it says.
A prior discussion certainly took place – Key’s own words on Q+A Sunday July 24 2011:
JOHN Phil Goff was briefed, yeah, that’s right. I personally didn’t brief him, but my understanding from the director of SIS, Warren Tucker, is that he was briefed and he was shown the same note and report that I saw.
July 24: John Key says the SIS briefed Phil Goff about the behaviour of Israeli nationals in Christchurch. Mr Goff contacts SIS director Dr Warren Tucker to say he had not been briefed.
July 25: Mr Goff and Dr Tucker meet to discuss the matter.
July 26: Cameron Slater asks the SIS about the issue.
Did Key and Tucker discuss a future OIA release of the document at their first meeting?
Update: And there it is, Key on 8th August 2011:
“What happened is Warren Tucker didn’t come to me, he went to his legal adviser and his legal advisers told him this is the process they have to follow and when he was going through that process it was at that point he told me he’d release it because he has to tell me that under the no-surprises doctrine.”